4 Vital Tips for Editing a Dissertation

It is no wonder that many scholars dread the editing process and harbor numerous concerns even before they start it. They become skeptical about their academic writing abilities and are more prone to make fundamental mistakes. However, if approached strategically and in an organized manner, editing a dissertation and academic documents can become a much easier task. This article lists and explains four editing guidelines that writers must implement to edit their dissertations efficiently.

08.04.2022

4 Vital Tips for Editing a Dissertation

Editing a dissertation is one of the most arduous undertakings for scholars pursuing a doctoral program. After putting in painstaking efforts to

Scholars must also ensure that their manuscripts are free from linguistic, tonal, structural, contextual, and factual errors and inconsistencies. In addition, the documents should abide by a set of rigid academic writing and formatting guidelines to become eligible for submission.

Thus, it is no wonder that many scholars dread the editing process and harbor numerous concerns even before they start it. They become skeptical about their academic writing abilities and are more prone to make fundamental mistakes. However, if approached strategically and in an organized manner, editing a dissertation and academic documents can become a much easier task. This article lists and explains four editing guidelines that writers must implement to edit their dissertations efficiently.

Four tips for editing a dissertation

The tips mentioned here are not specific to dissertation editing, and one can also employ them when editing other academic documents.

1. Allotting sufficient time to the process

Dissertations are lengthy and extensive documents spanning hundreds of pages and comprising tens of thousands of words. According to Harvard University, a typical dissertation can go well above a hundred pages.

It is common that the editing process takes significantly more hours than the writing stage. This is because editing a dissertation requires one to meticulously scrutinize each and every section of it with equal emphasis. Hence, before initiating the editing process, scholars should ensure that they can expend enough time on it. They should record the submission deadline and accordingly schedule the days left to polish their manuscripts optimally.

Also, when dedicating time to editing their manuscripts, scholars should consult their supervisors or instructors to get an estimate of the number of hours or days required for the process. Doing so helps one design a flexible editing schedule that can effortlessly accommodate any unexpected delays.

Editing a dissertation

2. Listing and prioritizing all the elements of the dissertation

A dissertation generally consists of the following five chapters:

  • Introduction

  • Literature review

  • Methodology

  • Results

  • Synopsis

However, depending upon the subject matter, one can come across dissertations consisting of more than five sections.

The second editing tip on this list states that scholars should assess which section will take the most amount of time. Subsequently, they should make a priority list and assign positions to the sections based on their temporal requirements. Working with a priority list allows scholars to dedicate adequate time and resources to each chapter in their manuscript.

3. Not editing ceaselessly

Editing dissertations, or for that matter, any academic document, is a mentally exhausting task. It demands unfettered focus, consistency, and the ability to perform several operations simultaneously. Hence, one is bound to get drained and suffer from mental and physical fatigue after editing for prolonged periods.

Exhaustion is a common phenomenon that all editors come across at regular intervals. However, if one is pushing themselves even after reaching the point of exhaustion, the chances are higher that their quality of work will drop exponentially. Thus, scholars should take occasional breaks to not let the fatigue set in.

4. Considering a second opinion

In most cases, a single individual handles all editing duties from start to finish, and they do it successfully. However, there are circumstances when some edits can go unnoticed even after repeated scrutiny. This typically happens when a scholar is new to editing academic documents.

For instance, dissertations are ideally supposed to be objective. However, if a scholar assumes a rigid viewpoint, the chances are that certain statements might make sense to them but not to others. To deal with such discrepancies, taking the opinion of others, preferably an experienced scholar, is the ideal solution. Gathering opinions from others allows scholars to sift through several fresh perspectives. They can then collectively utilize them to heighten the objectivity of their dissertations and augment their readability.

Editing a dissertation: Synopsis

Editing a dissertation is equally, if not more important than the drafting and revising stages. It ensures that an academic text is legible, credible, and relays the message its writer intended when writing it. Thus, scholars should make it an objective to learn to edit their manuscripts effectively and put in the required efforts to realize it. However, they should not do so haphazardly. Instead, they should base their learning efforts on the aforementioned dissertation editing tips and watch their learning curve steepen sharply.

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Editing a dissertation

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Editing a dissertation

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